At least 19 years jail for Titahi Bay murders

13:17, Oct 21 2009
Joseph Ogle
JAILED FOR LIFE: Joseph Ogle during sentencing.

The man who bashed two women to death in a Titahi Bay house in June has been sentenced to serve at least 19 years of his life imprisonment term.

But the victims' families say that is less than 10 years for each woman's life and never want to see him released again.

At the sentencing at the High Court in Wellington this morning, family heard how Joseph Ogle, 28, had snuck into the Titahi Bay home of his ex-partner and mother of his two children Joeline Edmonds, 20, hitting her on the side of the head with a baseball bat as she lay in bed.

While she was stunned, Ogle escorted flatmate Jashana Robinson, 16, into the room and hit her from behind with the bat.

Between conversations, and while Joeline pleaded for her life, Ogle repeatedly struck both woman until blood splattered the walls before leaving them to die.  

Jashana's grandmother Linda Blake said there was no way the family could ever forgive Ogle and wanted him locked away for ever.

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"The sentence for me could just never be long enough. The justice system in this country needs to be overhauled because I don't think he should ever be left to come out again and do it to other people. Life should be life."

"He can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned."

Joeline's cousin Teresa Bechham, agreed the the sentence was not good enough.

"That's less than 10 years for each life. [Joeline's] daughters didn't get 10 years with her. It's a bit of a joke, he gets the last laugh and we have to live with it as both families."

Jashana's father Patrick Robinson said it was "unbelievable" that his daughter had to die when she was an innocent bystander.

Reading from his victim impact statement in court he recounted how Ogle had "executed" Jashana.

"The big man and his softball bat. You are ruthless, cowardly and cold blooded in what you did to our girl."

He said there was no chance the family could ever feel pity, forget or forgive Ogle.

Ogle, also known as Joseph Nicholls, had pleaded guilty to murdering Joelene Edmonds, 20, and Jashana Robinson, 16.

Throughout the entire two-hour court hearing this morning Ogle kept his head bowed, not responding to angry victim's family as they addressed him.

Justice Denis Clifford said Ogle's sentence was reduced by four years to take account of the guilty pleas.

Muffled crying started from the packed court as a Crown lawyer read the summary of what had taken place in the house.

Four members of Jashana's family and two from Ms Edmonds' read victim impact statements, sometimes overcome with emotion but all speaking of the devastation Ogle had caused.

Ms Edmonds had been Ogle's partner and was the mother of their two children together. Jashana Robinson had boarded with Ms Edmonds for only four days before they were both killed on 26 June.

Ogle had also pleaded guilty to breaching a domestic violence protection order Ms Edmonds had taken out against him, one of several in an escalating series of violent incidents against women.

Ms Edmonds' two children to Ogle, then aged two years three months and 12 months old, had been in the house, and wandered around including into the room where the two women lay dead, the court heard.

Ogle and Ms Edmonds had a four-year relationship despite her obtaining a protection against him in August 2007.

In August 2008 he was sentenced to jail. Ms Edmonds gave up a relationship she started with another man so she could give Ogle another chance when he was released in late May 2009.

Within three weeks a neighbour interrupted an argument between the couple in which Ms Edmonds said Ogle had been strangling her but police were not told of the violence.

But he did leave the house at Ms Edmonds' request. Contact with her and the children continued.

Fearing for her safety Ms Edmonds moved to be with her father in Whangamata but within days she shifted back saying she missed her Porirua family too much and she would not let Ogle chase her out of her home.

On June 22, Ms Robinson moved in as a boarder.

Four days later, a month after his release from prison, Ogle went to Ms Edmonds' house with a softball bat in the early morning thinking he would catch her in bed with the other man.

She was alone and unwell. As she vomited into a bucket he hit her on the head with the bat. He then called Ms Robinson into the room and hit her also. After hitting them both several times more, Ogle left the groaning women in the blood spattered room knowing they would die.

He hid the bat at a park, met friends at Porirua city centre, and then visited Ms Edmonds' mother's house before returning to the scene of his crime and pretending to discover the bodies.

As well as her head injuries Ms Edmonds' hands were broken, probably caused when she tried to protect herself from the bat.

At first Ogle lied to police but but later the same night he confessed and showed police where he had hidden the bat.

 

The Dominion Post